Stuart Townsend may have been overly ambitious in making Battle in Seattle. He may have muddled his messages, trod on the feelings of others, and gotten his history wrong in places. His romance may be boring, his characters predictable. Maybe he never fully explained, or even understood, what the World Trade Organization is. But we'll argue that all of these weaknesses also beset the protesters themselves, who came to bear witness and to register their discontent with a meeting of people who clearly have too much power and not enough accountability. And all those 40,000 people, boring, weird, underinformed, whatever, went ahead anyway, and made the greatest, smartest, best-organized, and coolest protest this country has seen since the 1940s. And Townsend made a film with which we can remember it.
Dec. 2-3, 7:15 & 9:25 p.m., 2008